Ibadan, 3 October 2023. – The UK Space Agency has announced up to £65 million of funding for ground-breaking innovations that aim to boost UK leadership in space technologies and applications. The National Space Innovation Program (NSIP) will support high-risk, high-reward projects designed by British organizations with the potential to accelerate the development of new space technologies, satellite applications, and services.
The program provides an opportunity for the UK space sector to develop novel and valuable commercial innovations that could tackle challenges such as using satellite data to combat climate change or providing services to make in-orbit applications more sustainable.
The first tranche of up to £34 million funding is open to proposals that will drive innovation, accelerate the route to market, and catalyze investment into the UK space sector. However, UKSA will split the remaining funding across further calls in 2024 and 2025, with projects running until March 2027.
Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said, “In today’s interconnected world, space technologies have become critical to almost every aspect of our daily lives. The National Space Innovation Program will support the UK’s most ambitious space technology projects and their potential to address real-world challenges, catalyze investment, deliver new missions and capabilities, and harness the power of space to improve lives.”
Since its launch in 2020, NSIP has provided UK organizations with over £25 million in funding, including SatVu, which used the support to develop the first Middle Wavelength Infra-Red (MWIR) satellite, launched in June 2023. Northumbria University also used NSIP funding to design, test and build a new miniaturized laser optical communications terminal to deliver a step-change in inter-satellite data sharing.